VK3CKC's eLecTricks Trike Design and Build.

Joined
Feb 7, 2008
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Nottinghamshire England
You've got me there. Split tapped holes?
Lower picture the cream piece the hole seen through the inside of the spoke flange looks tapped and split length wise.

As do some of the holes in the disc adaptor ?
 
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Feb 20, 2013
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Lower picture the cream piece the hole seen through the inside of the spoke flange looks tapped and split length wise.
I thought you may have been referring to that.

I needed some way of fastening the rotor adaptor to the hub, yet still allow it to be removed for changing the bearings at any time. I could not thread their studs into the spoke flange as they would muck up the spoke holes. With the size of hub tube, I felt I had only one option. The adaptor is stepped. First, there is plenty of surface area for the rotor to mate with and, second, the step is sized sufficiently to allow a stud hole to continue with half the hole diameter in the hub tube and the other half in the adaptor. Of course, not being possessed of accurate drilling, the the adaptors are marked to identify the exact orientation of the adaptors on their hub. Have to be careful with tapping to not take too much at a time as when you get through the adaptor metal, the tap is only cutting on one side and might break. I think I used an intermediate because that is what I had.

It was all a matter of mating what bearings I could find with what size hub tube I could scrounge.

If I had to do it again, I would try smaller bearings, a smaller hub tube, and bolt the adaptors to the spoke flange. Much easier to make. It was one of those "design as you go" and then having to make compromises to continue things rather than starting again.
 
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Back to the construction of the front suspension.

I made the swing arms for the front suspension quite some time ago and put them aside to wait their turn. I always had a nominal idea as to how I would mount them and it was changed many times until I suddenly hit upon an easy way of doing it. I had intended to tune out the small variations that would occur to the track width in operation and went through the mental qymnastics a few years ago. Many manufacturers don't worry about it and, after measuring the very small variation caused by the bottom arm, I elected to do the same. It can be changed by trial and error at a later date if its importance rises sufficiently.



The bottom arm is essentially completed in this image while the top one is not as it is waiting for the weather to cool down a bit to get more shed time and work out how long it should be.



Here are all the swing arms, although the top ones are not yet completed. The two bracket halves will bolt either side of the central boom, rotated backwards to create the required wheel caster angle. Constructing this way will permit fiddling with the front wheel position to get it just right - or be able to easily alter it if it isn't. Although I hadn't thought of it until now, I should also be able to connect the steering assembly to it, making it one complete module. Sounds like a good idea.

The next step at this point is to adjust the length of the two upper arms and "bend" their outer ends so that they match the lower ones, screw the rod ends on, and connect to the kingpins.
 
Joined
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There are times when one's build goes off on a tangent to satisfy some overwhelming urge or to make supposedly better use of circumstances and opportunities, or just for a change.

I had been looking at some hang-onto-for-a-sunny-day discarded lithium ion laptop battery packs for a year or two. My plan was to break them open and see whether they would be any real use for powering any of the electrics in the build. I ended up with 9 x 18650 cells, 2200mAh capacity, LG and Panasonic cells that weren't damaged during the battery pack wrecking. They charged without drama in an appropriate charger. It took a while as the charger only accommodates 2 cells at a time.

I discovered the Vruzend (based in USA) 18650 Battery Pack Kit consisting of interlocking top and bottom caps with spring contacts, connecting strips and screws - no welding or soldering needed. An order was placed with their Australian outlet, Aussie Outdoor Gear, along with a Banggood order for 4 x 20A 18650 BMS controller boards, and an 8 x USB outlet buck/boost voltage regulator modules.



The battery kit arrived within a couple of days, yesterday, which was great service but I will have to wait longer for the Banggood stuff.

I needed to test the suitability of the used cells that I had on hand. The purpose of all this is to provide a nominal 12V battery, expandable to beyond 9Ah. Using nine 18650 cells that were retrieved from two discarded laptop battery packs, it took only a short while to make up 3 x 3S battery banks. At the original 2200mAh capacity of the cells, this was three 2200mAh units with a nominal voltage range of 9V (specification sheet minimum) to 12.6V (specification sheet maximum). The three sets of three cells were then connected in parallel with each other, thereby providing a complete battery pack representing a new cell value of 6600mAh (6Ah) at the previously mentioned voltage range.

As the potential performance of the used cell pack was unknown, it was put on test with the running lights of my Warrior trike. The test ran for 8.25hrs before being aborted as it was not going to be possible to monitor the end time as I would be asleep when it happened. At the time the test was stopped, the running lights were still performing the same as they were at the start and the battery voltage was sitting at approximately 11.1V, the specification sheet nominal voltage and exceeding my expectations. The current draw during the test was a nominal 110mA.

A very successful test and I have resumed the test from where I left off yesterday.

A way of customising your own battery pack and re-purposing used cells in the process. You can use new cells instead, of course.
 
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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More on the battery test. For used, discarded cells, I am very impressed. I resumes the test yesterday with the intention of stopping it when the voltage had discharged to approximately 10V. Believe it or not, I got bored with checking on it and turned it off it had dropped to 10.1V. That was after a total test time of 15 hours! I would say a very successful test. Yes, the charged voltage is a little less than a standard SLA battery but it can be discharged to a much lower point. It doesn't matter if that which is being powered doesn't suffer. In this case, it was powering a 5V regulator, an Arduino micro-controller, and flashing 17 LEDs. All things being equal, the voltage could have dropped to 7V before things would have stopped. I think the specification sheet discharge voltage was 2.2v per cell, or 6.6V for the whole battery.

Now, do I recharge them two at a time in my charger for the 22.5 hours that it will take or do I wait until my management system (BMS) circuit boards arrive and incorporate them? I think you know the answer. These used cells, free except for a couple of $ for the BMS boards, will be handy for accessory power into the future but I think I will get some new ones to build a "solid" battery for powering the radio transceivers where I need to supply about 10 amps. Pleasing to know how easy it is to make up whatever battery I require.

Now, a re-focus. The eLecTricks build is progressing but, due to other commitments, is taking far longer than I anticipated. I was trying to get it completed for an event in April but that clearly won't be possible and I will have to use the Warrior. I am also not getting much riding time in and had planned to have a few rail trails ridden by this stage. I need to shift some things from the as-opportunity-permits box to the planned box otherwise some things are going to fall by the wayside.

So, contributions on here will slow down as I get some Warrior riding in and test a few wiring modifications that I need to make to add to user convenience. It must remain functional for that April event.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
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Apple Valley, California, USA
Will be a shame to cover it up. Aren't you working a bit late?
No, it's only 8:30 pm here. Nothing of interest on the telly.
I have only one program I don't want to miss, and that's NCIS, on Tuesday night. Anything else not so much.
Besides, this is the time of night when I do most of my searching for info, review input, and just surf for idea's.

Tonight I'm looking for ideas, for a center console, that will cover the battery pack,
and still look like it was an original thought, to the project.
I'm looking at 'Rat Rod' interiors. https://www.google.com/search?q=rat+rod+interiors&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=rat+rod&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l2j69i57j69i59j0j69i60l2j69i61.5896j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

That battery pack of your's, looks more like a rocket launcher.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
It is 3.45pm Saturday here.

The sky is the limit with your console design. Will be interesting to see what you come up with.

Battery pack might look like a rocket launcher but I hope it won't act like one at any time. It's only about 4" square on the "exhaust" end. The ease and flexibility of putting it together is great. A bit fiddly but great. Add the small boards to it, wrap it up, and done.
 
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Feb 20, 2013
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Some things have moved forward.

I purchased 12 new Panasonic 3400mAh 18650 cells and a Vruzend battery kit. This enabled me to create a 12.6V, 13.6Ah battery that I have used twice so far. The voltage drop after 2.5 hours riding, running 16 flashing LEDs, plus another 16 each time indicators were used, was only 0.06V. Removing the cells for recharging two at a time was too painful and had to be circumvented.

I ordered a couple of Battery Management System boards and connected one to the battery. This fixed the charging requirement.

An 8 x USB module to attach to the battery fixed the power supply for the number of USB powered requirements.

Now, what is the best way to provide charging? The e-Assist battery (42V full charge) has its own 240V charger and I plan to use a boost (step up) regulator from a solar panel to provide a top-up out on rides. I have a small panel to try in the meantime but I plan for a velomobile solar panel roof down the track. Anyway, that takes care of the e-Assist battery.

Then the penny dropped. Why not use a buck (step down) regulator, switchable to either the e-Assist charger or the e-Assist battery to provide charge current to the 12.6V battery? It could be switched out, switched to the e-Assist battery to "borrow" some charge if required, or switched to its charger to charge at the same time. A few hours with KiCAD produced a schematic for what was becoming a complex circuit, especially when including the three voltage/current monitors and their shunts. In any case, there was enough derived from the exercise to test and prove it all for later use.

The 2020 Night Ride is not far away, about 6 weeks, and I will have to be careful that nothing breaks between now in then, but I will have to incorporate the 12.6V battery. The fancy stuff can wait.
 
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Some recent publicity last Saturday, after being asked to write a 500 word newspaper article, can be seen at: https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/6698494/tech-trikes-and-trails-all-add-to-rides/ Working on some follow-up ideas as well.

You never know where such things lead to. It has already been seen on a Rail Trails New South Wales site and I have received a request to have it inserted in a miniature railway newsletter. A few other emails as well.

Anyway publicity for the movement.
 
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
For those for whom it don't work, here is the text:

Cycling - is it just about the riding? Not for me it isn’t and I need more from the experience. My riding has a couple of added attractions to provide a bit more incentive to ride. I ride a recumbent tadpole trike that I made myself. Being something of an electronics enthusiast, I added amateur (ham?) radio. Through various methods, it allows me to talk with other amateurs both locally and in all parts of the world as I ride, as well as position display via www.aprs.fi on the Internet. These capabilities provides mobile radio communications for the annual O’Keefe Marathon. That’s right, the blue trike.

Then there was a legal conversion to electric assist. Sure, I have its battery and motor to carry if I am not actually using it but it provides an energy top-up for getting over that dreaded hill or when you have little left in the tank. Why struggle when you don’t have to?

Next came a few accessories, starting with Arduino micro-controller-activated flashing rear and front lights, hazard flashers, stop light, and reversing light – so I can see behind when riding at night.

A video camera came next, followed by a tablet that runs an app for controlling the camera and providing an image of what is in its viewfinder at any time. Other apps include Ulysse Speedo Pro for speed, elevation, compass, etc., Bike Computer Pro for navigation and trip recording, music for company and relaxation, and anything else that is available from a tablet. There is also display lighting when required for special occasions. Most of this is still experimental but it all works quite well.

Finally, living beside the O’Keefe Rail Trail, I compiled a history of the long gone railway that once ran between Bendigo and Wallan from 1888 to 1968. The stations along the way – Strathfieldsaye, Longlea, Axedale, Knowsley, Derrinal, Heathcote, Tooborac, Pyalong, High Camp, Moranding, Willowmavin, Kilmore, Bylands, Leslie, and a few sidings here and there - are no longer to be seen. You can still see where they were and can imagine what things looked like back then– if you know what you are looking for. Every time I ride the Trail, my mind is taken back to those days that you can no longer see. In my case, I try to add to the history in case I have missed something. This history can be seen at www.axerail.coffeecup.com.

The O’Keefe Rail Trail is a valuable resource for local cyclists and it is still growing with improvements and additions. The recently restored and installed rail wagon, HY 16625, at the Axedale Station site is just one example. Of course, you won’t see it unless you get out and about on the Trail.

Now, there’s an idea. Have a look at the history site, hop on a bike and ride to Axedale, checking the history along the way. Stop in town for a while, enjoying some refreshments before riding back.

Who knows, I might see you out there.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
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Wakefield, UK
Worked out why it doesn't show here. It's my 'puter. Facebook trackers infest that site. I have a Facebook container that occasionally breaks sites but it's a small price to pay for keeping them out of my business.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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723
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
They say "Time flys when you're having fun" and one day I might be able to prove it. Since my last build post on March 4, something called Covid-19 decided that its purposes were more important than mine and there was very little riding done and not a great deal of anything else. However, there was some nett build progress but I will have to collect the details to update here to bring things back on track.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
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309
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Netherlands
The covid 19 and the good weather, made that I finished my Trike and that I ride now more than I did before.
It also makes that I have less problems with traffic. Faster green light and less cars on the road.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
As I have said before, this build has been rather protracted and, in the process, I have backtracked a few times and approached various aspects from a different direction. One of these things is the front steering kingpins or knuckles - take your pick or call them something else.

I intended to avoid the more mainstream "cut and shorten" bicycle headstem approach and used a simple alternative with some flat steel strap. I used 5mm because it was easily obtainable. I have probably mentioned it elsewhere on this thread, not sure. As it was a temporary approach, I didn't take too much care with actual dimensions and the final angle wasn't quite right once I got around to fitting the wheels. I made another pair and also had difficulty with the arc that the wheel followed when steered. At this point I discarded my independent suspension as it was getting more than a little cramped and was going to created steering connection problems. Guess what? I decided to replace it with single swing arms and modified headstems so that I can get the ting finished. I actually sat on it for the first time a couple of days ago. However, I have made the suspension "module" removable/adjustable so that it can be replaced if I ever decide to do so.

Having done all that, I realised where the fault in my simple kingpin lay and I drew up my current thoughts on it.


No dimensions are given here due to individual requirements. Flat strap of suitable dimensions is marked up with where the bends are required and where the rod end mounting bolt and axle holes are required. The holes are drilled first. A cut is made almost through the steel at the location of each bend - after carefully marking which side of the strap relates to the outside of any bend. This is to make the bends easy and sharp. The strap is then bent to the appropriate angles. A weld tack is then placed in each cut once the angles have been checked. They can be easily undone if adjustments are required later but there is no need to fill with weld until you are sure.

Disc brake mounting would be provided by welding appropriate mounting brackets to the flat strap.

I haven't actually made one of these yet but I can't see anything wrong with the idea. Have I missed anything?
 
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